Test Guide

Making the invisible visible since 1987

  • Test Guide

    Repro This!

    • 10 Comments
    Pop quiz: A tester finds and logs a bug. Some days (weeks (months)) later a developer picks up the bug and runs through it. Lo and behold, the bug does not occur. What should the developer do with this bug? Most common answer: Resolve the bug as "No Repro...
  • Test Guide

    This Is Your Brain On RST

    • 1 Comments
    Last week I took Rapid Software Testing from Michael Bolton . The three days of stuffing my brain in the beautiful downtown campus of the University of Toronto was loads of fun. Points I especially remember: I had already experienced one of the exercises...
  • Test Guide

    I Want Testers, Not Automators

    • 6 Comments
    I think my team - much of Microsoft, in fact - is going about testing all wrong. My team has a mandate from on high to automate one hundred percent of our testing. We aren't the only ones either, I don't think. This is a great goal (even if it isn...
  • Test Guide

    So You Want To Work For Microsoft...

    • 2 Comments
    Several people have emailed me recently asking for tips on getting through their upcoming interviews at Microsoft. My advice: Be Yourself . I believe this is the most important tip I can give you. I find that how someone fits (or does not fit) with...
  • Test Guide

    When you don't have a spec, everything is a bug

    • 11 Comments
    How many of you regularly get a detailed and complete specification document before Dev starts coding and before Test starts testing? Raise your hands, please. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Heh. That's what I thought. My team takes a full month before each...
  • Test Guide

    A Tester's Translation Table

    • 8 Comments
    It seems to me that lots of people are experiencing lots of confusion regarding what lots of the testing terms we throw around signify. In an effort to remedy this circumstance I have applied my investigatory powers to observe what people really mean...
  • Test Guide

    Did You? Did You Really? Loosely Coupled Comprehensive Verification

    • 11 Comments
    Verifying that a test case’s actions had the expected result is perhaps the most important part of testing. Every test case does something at least a little differently than every other test case, so the expected results are often a little different....
  • Test Guide

    Talkie Walkie Trustie

    • 4 Comments
    Recently I read through the notes from Brett Pettichord's workshop on Homebrew Test Automation . It's a great overview of available test automation techniques, although it is old enough that he doesn't mention UIAutomation (the Longhorn replacement for...
  • Test Guide

    Hunt The SDE/T

    • 5 Comments
    Mark asks: So how *do* you find tester-developers? Certainly a job description that says "QA" seems to be an invitation for lots of resumes from script-followers. I want people who think repetetive tasks are what computers are for, not people, and that...
  • Test Guide

    SDWest: Agility And Architecture

    • 2 Comments
    Yesterday and today have been jam-packed with interesting sessions. The best of the bunch by far, though, was the roundtable discussion on agility and architecture Bob Martin led this afternoon. I'm still trying to decide whether SD was incredibly...
  • Test Guide

    Hook, Line, and Tester

    • 2 Comments
    "Testable" is one of those words with a bajillion meanings. Dave Catlett, a Test architect here at Microsoft, defines testability as "[t]he degree to which components and systems are designed and implemented to make it easier for tests to achieve complete...
  • Test Guide

    Most Of Each Test Case Exercises A Small Fraction Of The Code

    • 5 Comments
    The execution section of a test case is itself composed of three subsections: setup, execution, and teardown. Execution is often thought to be the most important part of a test case (after all, a test case that doesn’t verify anything is rather pointless...
  • Test Guide

    A Peek Behind The Curtains

    • 3 Comments
    With the LFM defined and hooked up to Execution Behaviors it makes sense to move on to defining the Physical Object Model . The POM is often the simplest part because it's just a straightforward API around the user interface. Given Surveyor's UI: ...
  • Test Guide

    All For One And One For All: Our Complete Automation Stack

    • 2 Comments
    Factoring these details out of the test case into intuitively organized libraries allows the test case to focus on the essence of what it is testing rather than incidental details. This helps us write more comprehensive tests faster but spend less time...
  • Test Guide

    Testers Are Little More Than Accountants In A Factory

    • 4 Comments
    The sum of these factors makes testers little more than factories churning out test case after test case, each of which is different only in some small detail (e.g., how a particular operation is invoked) than the others. Another way to say this is that...
  • Test Guide

    The Bug Craig Will Never Forget

    • 0 Comments
    Of all the bugs I've came across I'll never forget this one because it was so severe and easy to miss. Later, when I was a Test Lead it was the first thing I added to my sign-off checklist… A few years ago, our product was practically out the door when...
  • Test Guide

    Test Cases Are Maintenance Hogs

    • 2 Comments
    These problems all combine to make test cases a maintenance nightmare. Anytime the application under test changes – regardless of whether the UI changed a tiny bit or an entire feature was dramatically revamped – every affected test case must be updated...
  • Test Guide

    Can Developers Test?

    • 8 Comments
    Diligent Reader Ayaz asks: Everywhere there is talk about *the tester mentality* and how the testers should refine their approach towards a problem. My question is what would you advise a *developer* so that he can test his code and catch the bugs...
  • Test Guide

    What's Your Strongest Language?

    • 6 Comments
    Futura writes that s/he has been a developer and then a tester for many years. In that time, s/he has used many languages, including C++,VB, Python, and MatLab. Futura is planning to apply for an SDE/T position and is looking for advice on answering the...
  • Test Guide

    Show Me Yours: Application Internals

    • 3 Comments
    Details regarding how data is pulled out of our application’s internal data structures and other parts of the system environment are factored into an Application Internals model. This isolates knowledge about where data is found and how it is accessed...
  • Test Guide

    Who Ya Gonna Call?

    • 4 Comments
    Once you create your Logical Functional Model the other pieces can follow in any order immediately as chunks of your feature and LFM are defined. I'll follow the most typical pattern here, which brings us to Execution Behaviors. When you first define...
  • Test Guide

    No Guts, But Lots Of Glory

    • 1 Comments
    My previous post hinted that the Physical Object Model takes advantage of some underlying magic that makes different types of controls look similar. This "smudging" of controls into similarity comes courtesy of the controls abstraction layer. While...
  • Test Guide

    Testing Estimation

    • 0 Comments
    Sonal asks: Could you discuss on estimating testing for a manual/automation project? How long to estimate the estimation, how many test cases designed per day (though this sounds like a bad statistic). Test case designing and testing per se never...
  • Test Guide

    Slow And Steady Wins The Race

    • 6 Comments
    When I was a fresh-faced programmer I was the fastest codeslinger around. I could spew code out like nobody's business. I didn't need to bother with design or spec'ing. You want a program to do what? Bam! Here it is. Something not quite right? Bam! Here...
  • Test Guide

    Con Mucho Gusto

    • 2 Comments
    It's good to be back! I am just recently back from Colombia. The good folk at SQA flew me down to talk with their clients about testing software. I took some vacation time as well, to ensure that my wife and I would have time to do some sightseeing ....
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